chez_jae: (Books)
Last night, I read the rest of File M for Murder by Miranda James. It's part of the "Cat in the Stacks" mystery series.

Assistant librarian Charlie is pleasantly surprised when his daughter Laura returns home. She's going to be teaching a semester at the local college,and Charlie is looking forward to spending time with her. The theater department has another returnee for the term--famous playwright Connor Lawton. Charlie soon learns that Lawton is an obnoxious ass, and even worse, Laura used to date him.

When Lawton is murdered and it's Laura who discovers the body, she at first is under suspicion for the crime, and later, her life is endangered after she removed a flash drive from Lawton's apartment. All of this leaves Charlie, as well as his cat Diesel, feeling extra protective of Laura. The flash drive reveals some interesting clues, and it's up to a reference librarian to figure them out.

The story involved more action than previous ones in the series, what with another murder taking place, and repeated attempts to harm Laura. I was a bit disappointed in the "prodigal child comes home" trope, but only because the author used it in one of the first books in the series, when Charlie's son Sean came home. Fortunately, I believe he only has the two children, so we shouldn't see any more of that in subsequent books.

Favorite line: "As long as it's over who needs a tense confrontation with a murderer?...They always seem a bit contrived in some of the books I read."
I agree! Bonus points to the author for a non-dramatic wrapping up of the case.

The book was likable enough, although not extraordinary. Four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
At work on Wednesday, I finished reading Classified as Murder by Miranda James. It's the second book in the author's "Cat in the Stacks" mystery series.

Volunteer librarian Charlie Harris is delighted when wealthy eccentric James Delacorte asks him to help inventory a collection of rare books. Delacorte fears someone is stealing from the collection. Not long after Charlie begins, he discovers Delacorte dead at his desk and suspects the victim's own family. When Deputy Berry asks Charlie to continue the inventory and keep his ears open, he is happy to assist the investigation. Charlie relies on his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, to help paw around for clues.

I enjoyed this book much more than I liked the first one. There was more going on, including an unscheduled visit from Charlie's son Sean, and a plethora of suspects, all of whom had their own peccadilloes. I liked the cat Diesel, simply for the fact that he's a regular cat. While I enjoy felines with paranormal tendencies, it was refreshing to read about a plain ol' cat who was helpful simply by being a curious cat. I do have other books in the series, and I am more eager to read them after finishing this one.

Four stars:

★★★★
chez_jae: (Books)
Just finished reading Murder Past Due by Miranda James. It's the first in her cozy mystery series featuring library archivist Charlie Harris and his cat Diesel. I'm such a sucker for cats and cozy mysteries!

Local boy turned millionaire, best-selling author Godfrey Priest returns to Athena. He and Charlie were classmates in school, where Godfrey was a bully and a jerk. When Godrey is found murdered in his hotel room, another friend asks Charlie to look into the mystery.

The book was interesting, although not engrossing. I don't often read books with a male protagonist's first person pov, so that took some getting used to. I enjoyed the story, however. I was kept guessing right up to the end as to "who dunnit".

I have a few more books in the series, and I look forward to reading them.

Three stars:

★★★

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